Things to consider when going freelance
Here’s everything you need to know.
Lots of people dream of becoming self-employed: choosing their own hours, working at their own pace, and ultimately, being their own boss. But the reality might not be as glamourous as you imagine – here are a few things you should consider before you quit your job and go freelance.
You will have to do everything
No matter what you are doing as a freelance worker there will always be admin tasks that need to be done. For example – and possibly the most important you must consider – invoicing. You will be responsible for invoicing your clients and possibly chasing them for payment. You will need to comprise your own invoices, consider tax on the payments and monitor your pricing to ensure you are not charging too much or too little.
There is a variety of software available to help freelancers with their finance and admin tasks, you can easily create invoices using FreshBooks.com as they offer free invoice templates you can utilize. In managing your business finances, you will also need to remember to file your taxes promptly or you may face a hefty fine.
Say goodbye to a steady income
When freelancing, you will have to learn to live with an uncertain income. Some months you may be swamped with work whilst at other times there could be nothing available – depending on what you do, your work could be affected by the seasons or change in weather. You will no longer have a steady paycheck every month straight into your bank account that covers all your bills for you. Some months you might not earn enough to pay your rent!
You will have to keep the quiet months in mind and put plenty of extra income away to cover the slack should you need it and manage your money appropriately. You should also be prepared to earn significantly less when you first start out – you will have a lot of expenses to cover initially such as materials and possibly marketing, and you will likely be starting out completely unknown to your customer base. Until you reach your client base and word spreads, you will likely be struggling for work and won’t see any real return on your investment for a while. It would be wise to have plenty of savings in the bank before you decide to go freelance.
Can I be bothered?
This might seem like an obvious one, but nothing tests your self-motivation more than going freelance, especially in the beginning. There will be a lot of work to do just to get started and without clients nipping at your heels, will you have the motivation to do it all? Working for yourself is 100% reliant on you and how much you can get done.
Especially in the beginning, it can be extremely hard to stay motivated and keep on top of things while you are working essentially for free. Once you have customers to serve you may find yourself more determined to meet deadlines and keep them happy, once payday is insight. But during those quiet months when you are struggling for work, will you miss the office and the steady stream of income?